15 Hardest Monsters To Summon in Yu-Gi-Oh! (Ranked)This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
In Yu-Gi-Oh, summoning and attacking with monsters is the clearest way of defeating your opponent.
Logically, you’d assume that the harder it is to summon a monster, the stronger it should be, right? Well, there are some ridiculously difficult to summon monsters out there.
So by that logic, they should be all absurdly powerful. Are they?
Short answer, yes. Long answer, it’s complicated.
Some of these monsters are definitely a waste of time to work with, while others flat-out make you win the duel. So let’s take a peek at some of the craziest summon requirements in the game and see which ones are truly worth it.
15. Majestic Red Dragon
If you can reliably summon this card, then you should, because it’s actually really good.
To summon this card, you need to synchro summon it using Majestic Dragon, Red Dragon Archfiend, and a non-tuner monster.
The hard work is getting all these monsters out on the field. But once you do, it’s smooth sailing from there.
This card even lets you special summon Red Dragon Archfiend back to your field at the end of your turn.
14. Spirit of the Pharaoh
Here we have Spirit of the Pharaoh, which has become extremely difficult to summon in the current meta.
In order to summon this card, you must activate the trap First Sarcophagus.
What this card does is at the end of your opponent’s end phase, you can set the spell “The Second Sarcophagus” facedown from your deck or hand. Then at the next end phase, you would set another spell card, “The Third Sarcophagus”.
Once you’ve done all that, you can send all these cards to the graveyard and summon Spirit of the Pharaoh from your hand or deck.
But the catch is that if one of these Sarcophagus cards is destroyed, the other ones are destroyed as well, which means you can’t summon your monster.
In today’s meta, destroying spell or trap cards is very simple. And this summon takes two turns, which makes it extremely risky (and hard) to pull off.
13. Fushioh Richie
Reading the card effect of Fushioh Richie is probably just as hard as summoning it, given how ridiculously tiny the font is.
But anyways, to summon this monster, you have to summon it using the effect of Great Dezard.
With Great Dezard, you must then destroy two monsters by battle, which allows you to summon Fushioh Richie from the deck or hand.
The problem with this is how outdated these cards are. Nowadays, everyone uses monsters that have 3000 attack or even 4000 attack sometimes.
Great Dezard only has 1900 attack, so unless you boost its attack somehow, you’re going to have a tough time trying to destroy two monsters.
12. The Arrival Cyberse @Ignister
So this next card, The Arrival Cyberse @Ignister, is a fresh break from all these old cards – since it’s relatively new, being a link monster.
While the summoning mechanics works like any other link monster, the problem with this card is that it’s a link 6 monster that requires at least 3 other monsters to summon.
This means you can either use 6 non-link monsters, or 3 link monsters with a link rating of 6 in total.
You might think, “alright, getting 6 monsters on the field isn’t too bad”.
But the thing is that all 6 monsters need to be different attributes.
With most archetypes primarily revolving around 1 or 2 different attributes, 6 attributes is a nightmare. But an easier way to summon this is to summon three different link 3 monsters onto the field with different attributes.
This way you can save yourself the headache. Well, it’s at least a smaller headache.
11. Flying Fortress Sky Fire
Not only is Flying Fortress Sky Fire not a great card, but it’s also pretty hard to summon, which makes me question why it exists at all.
To summon this card, you have to first summon either “Trap Reactor ・Y FI” or “Spell Reactor ・RE”, and summon “Summon Reactor・SK”.
Yes, those are really the card’s names.
Then you’d use the effect of “Summon Reactor・SK” to send either of the other two cards to the graveyard, all to summon Flying Fortress Sky Fire.
That means this is a three-card combo, and it doesn’t help that “Summon Reactor・SK” is a level 5 monster, which just makes it harder to bring out.
Unless you build a deck around searching for and summoning these cards, you’re going to have a hard time getting all of these cards together on the field through sheer luck alone.
10. Vennominaga The Deity of Poisonous Snakes
Vennominaga is the first card on this list that includes an instant ain in its card effect.
To summon Vennominaga, you must first summon Vennominon the King of Poisonous Snakes.
This task isn’t easy to accomplish itself, since Vennominon doesn’t allow you to summon it using another monster’s card effect. So your options are either to tribute summon it, or to more easily summon it by using Snake Rain, and then using a card like Monster Reborn.
Then you’ll need to destroy this monster via card effect, and activate Rise of the Snake Deity, which allows you to special summon Vennominaga from the deck or hand.
Granted this is one of the few cards that are actually viable, so this might be a fun deck to consider making.
9. Machina Force
Machina Force is very similar to Flying Fortress Sky Fire, but just on a whole other level.
To summon Machina Force, you must summon and use the effect of Commander Covington.
The effect of Commander Covington states that you have to send Machina Soldier, Machina Sniper, and Machina Defender from your field to the deck.
After that, you can summon Machina Force from your hand or deck.
This is a 5 card combo and requires 4 of the 5 cards to be on the field, which is no easy task.
Like some of the other cards, you probably have to build your deck around Machina Force if you have any intention of summoning it reliably.
8. Timaeus the Knight of Destiny
Timaeus the Knight of Destiny is extremely complicated to summon. So make sure you’re paying attention here.
First, activate the spell Legend of Heart, which makes you pay 2000 life points, tribute a warrior-type monster, and then banish 3 Legendary Dragon spells from your hand or graveyard.
This will allow you to special summon Legendary Knight Timaeus, Legendary Knight Critias, and Legendary Knight Hermos.
Finally, you can then send all of these cards to the graveyard to special summon Timaeus the Knight of Destiny.
This requires you to search for 4 spell cards and have a warrior monster on the field, which can get tedious.
This one summon requires 8 cards in total, including the summoned monster, as well as 2000 life points.
I made this list, but even I’m shocked this isn’t higher up. It’s an insanely hard summon.
7. Exodia Necross
Just reading Exodia Necross’ effect will make you question its existence.
To summon Exodia Necross, you need to have all five pieces of Exodia in the graveyard, and then activate Contract with Exodia to summon Necross from the hand.
This combo doesn’t even give you the liberty of summoning Necross from the deck.
Moreover, sending all 5 pieces of Exodia to the graveyard is hard enough for you to consider just building a deck to win by having Exodia in your hand.
Overall, you’re better off building a regular Exodia deck.
6. Gate Guardian
If you thought the other cards were a headache to summon, check out Gate Guardian.
To summon Gate Guardian, you need to tribute Sanga of the Thunder, Kazejin, and Suijin.
While this sounds simple, the problem is that these monsters are all different types and attributes.
In addition, with the lack of support for this card, there isn’t a reliable way to search for these three monsters due to how different they are.
Then you have to find a way to get these three level 7 monsters on the field to tribute in the first place.
I’m guessing this card probably worked better in the anime.
5. Theinen the Great Sphinx
You actually might remember this one from the original Yu-Gi-Oh anime, but you might not remember how hard it is to summon.
The best way to summon this card is by activating Pyramid of Light.
This will let you special summon Sphinx Teleia and Andro Sphinx from your hand by paying 500 life points each.
Then you must destroy Pyramid of Light, with a card like MST, which will destroy Sphinx Teleia and Andro Sphinx, summoning Theinen the Great Sphinx.
Although summoning this card is quite complicated, Theinen is still pretty cool and powerful.
4. Mirage Knight
If you manage to summon this card, you have my full respect.
Because Mirage Knight is also a headache, if you haven’t guessed.
To start, you’d probably want to activate Instant Fusion to summon Flame Swordsman. Then you should also find a way to get Dark Magician on the field or in your hand.
Then you’d want to activate Polymerization to summon Dark Flare Knight.
Finally, using Dark Flare Knight’s effect, when you destroy another monster by battle, you can summon Mirage Knight from the hand or deck.
There’s really no good reason why anyone would want to summon this card. But if you do plan on doing it, good luck.
3. Sophia, Goddess of Rebirth
Sophia, Goddess of Rebirth will literally make you feel as if you restarted the game.
To summon this monster, you would need to banish a ritual, synchro, Xyz, and link monster.
The reason why this is so hard is because of how versatile your deck needs to be in order to summon all these different types of cards in the first place.
But the effect is pretty insane, as Sophia literally banishes everything except both player’s decks.
2. Armed Dragon Catapult Cannon
Now this card was definitely created as a joke, because it probably is impossible for most players to summon.
This requires, I am not kidding, 11 different monsters. So brace yourself.
First you must summon Armed Dragon LV5, which you can do using Armed Dragon LV3.
This will allow you to summon Armed Dragon LV7 to the field.
Next, fusion summon using X-Head Cannon, Y-Dragon Head, and Z-Metal Tank to get XYZ-Dragon Cannon.
You’ll then use V-Tiger Jet and W-Wing Catapult to fusion summon VW-Tiger Catapult.
Still with me here?
Then you’d fuse XYZ-Dragon Cannon and VW-Tiger Catapult together to get VWXYZ-Dragon Catapult Cannon.
Finally, you’d then fuse VWXYZ-Dragon Catapult Cannon and Armed Dragon LV7 to get Armed Dragon Catapult Cannon.
At this point, if you’ve managed to summon this card, its effect is crazy enough to the point where you more or less will win the duel.
And you probably deserve to win if you’ve somehow pulled this off.
1. Dark Sage
And finally at number 1, we have Dark Sage.
Even if you have the perfect setup, you’re still leaving everything up to luck.
To summon Dark Sage, you need to tribute Dark Magician after activating the effect of Time Wizard correctly.
What Time Wizard does is that you need to call a coin toss correctly, and if you do, you can destroy all monsters your opponent controls. Otherwise, your monsters are destroyed, and you take half the total attack as damage.
Overall this card isn’t terribly hard to summon.
But in the end, it is based on a coin toss.
So since this is pretty much up to luck, I’d say Dark Sage definitely deserves the number one spot on this list.